Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘Where is the evidence?’: Fife business leader says move to Tier 3 is unjustified

Fife Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alan Mitchell.
Fife Chamber of Commerce chief executive Alan Mitchell.

A Fife business leader has claimed placing the region under Tier 3 restrictions is an unjustified, over-cautious approach.

Fife Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Alan Mitchell said trading was being restricted without any evidence regarding the causes of coronavirus transmission.

Mr Mitchell described Tuesday’s announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as “a bitter pill to swallow”, despite the extension of the UK Government’s two main business support schemes.

“The concern is that it is the extension of these schemes rather than the scientific data on Covid spread in Fife that has driven the Scottish Government’s decision to place us in Tier 3,” he said.

Mr Sturgeon said the number of positive cases in Fife had soared by 40% in the week to November 6 and was on a sharply rising trajectory.

She added: “The advice of the chief medical officer and national clinical director is that level two restrictions may well not be sufficient to slow down and reverse increases of this magnitude, and as a result an early move to level three was strongly recommended.”

However, Mr Mitchell responded: “Consistently we have seen business trading restricted without any evidence showing that their business activities are a major cause of transmission.

‘A stark warning to us all’: Fifers urged to follow new Tier 3 guidance to drive down Covid-19 rates

“Where is the evidence that shows that people in Fife having a drink while they eat a meal in a restaurant or going to their local bingo hall is driving dangerous rises in the level of infections?

“The over cautious approach being adopted by the First Minister is not justified in Fife and poses a real risk to Scotland, not just to the economy but to the long-term health and wellbeing of the population from the employment, public finance and non-Covid physical and mental health fallout from the harsh measures being adopted to tackle Covid.

“There is no way forward that doesn’t involve health and economic harm to someone but the harms from Covid and the harms caused by the economic and social measures taken to control it must both be measured, considered and weighed up before taking far reaching decisions.

“If that analysis has been undertaken and it clearly demonstrates that firm action to tackle Covid is the lesser of the two evils we face then we should see this evidence  and we can all get 100% behind it.

“If that analysis hasn’t been undertaken, then our governments, here in Scotland and across the rest of the UK, are taking a big risk with our futures.“

Already a subscriber? Sign in